How John Mayer’s Obsession with the Grateful Dead Led to the Formation of Dead and Company


For the past two decades, singer-songwriter John Mayer has been a pivotal force in the music industry. With his tremendous music albums and singles, he has captivated music fans.

In 2015, the Connecticut native made another significant contribution when he established Dead & Company, which included former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir (guitar), Mickey Hart (drums), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums), as well as Oteil Burbridge (bass/drums), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and himself (guitar).

Mayer and his band are now on tour across the United States, which began on August 16 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and will end in Cancun in January 2022.

The Formation of a Company and the Death of a Person

The ‘I Guess I Just Feel Like’ singer sat down with Billboard in October 2015, a day before Dead & Co. was announced, and discussed how his love with the Grateful Dead, a prominent American rock band, led to the formation of Dead and Company.

He recalls hearing Grateful Dead’s song “Althea” on online music outlets like Pandora and SiriusXM in 2011 for the first time.

“I came in all wet from being outside in the pool and had to see what was on the iPod,” he explained.

Mayer quickly began to recognize parts of songs by the aforementioned band. He also went through a phase where he would only listen to their music while driving around Los Angeles.

The famous singer also claimed that he had never heard of the Grateful Dead or their gigs before. However, after hearing them, he felt compelled to share those moving melodies with a younger generation who had never heard the Grateful Dead’s music.

“I don’t have any of that fan show experience,” Mayer explained, “so I truly discovered the music on a completely pure level.”

The Band’s Performances Throughout the Years

Following the band’s announcement, members reunited for the band’s first live performance, a Halloween show at New York’s Madison Square Garden on October 31, 2015. Later that year, on December 31, they performed again.

Burbridge, one of the band members, said in a statement before the debut event, “I’m thrilled and excited to report that I’ll be joining Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, and Jeff Chimenti of the Grateful Dead and John Mayer for a new venture—Dead & Company.”

The band made its first festival appearance in 2016 at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Dead and Company went on the 2017 Summer Tour, Fall Tour 2017, 2018 Summer Tour, and 2019 Summer Tour in the following years.

In January 2020, the band performed three concerts as part of the “Playing in the Sand” event at the Moon Palace resort in Cancn, Mexico.

Despite their annual tours and gigs, the band has yet to release a studio album. The music performed at the concerts, on the other hand, is accessible on CDs, iTunes, and other streaming sites.